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Full text of "My Country And My People"

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IDEALS    OF    LIFE                             IO7

marriage and the home, and a glorification of motherhood.
This view of sex is but one manifestation of the entire Confucian
theory about passions, as stated by Tzussu, Confucius's grand-
son, in Chung Yung (The Golden Mean), which emphasizes
moderation with regard to all the seven passions.

That such an attitude is a difficult thing is well demonstrated
by what an Oriental calls the excesses of Western theories. It
is all too easy for man to be enslaved by nationalism, fascism,
socialism or communism, which are all consequences of the
excesses of industrialism, and forget that the state exists for
the individual and not the individual for the state. A com-
munist state in which the human individual is regarded but
as a member of a class or a state organism would at once lose
its attractiveness by the Confucian appeal to the true end of
human life. Against all systems as such, the human individual
asserts his right to exist and seek happiness. For more impor-
tant than all the political rights is man's right to happiness. A
fascist China would have a hard time persuading the Chinese
gentleman that the strength of the nation is more important
than the welfare of the individual. Close observers of the
communist state when it was set up in Kiangse offer as the
greatest reason why Communism must fail in China, in spite of
its great superiority over the feudalism of other parts, the fact
that life was too systematized and too inhuman there.

An equally undesirable effect of the Chinese spirit of reason-
ableness and its consequent hatred of logical extremes has been
that the Chinese, as a race, are unable to have any faith in a
system. For a system, a machine, is always inhuman, and the
Chinese hate anything inhuman. The hatred of any mechanis-
tic view of the law and government is so great that it has made
government by law impossible in China. A rigorous, harshly
legalistic regime, or a really impersonal administration of the
law, has always failed among us. It has failed because it was
not liked by the people. The conception of a government by
law was propounded and developed by thinkers in the third
century B.C. It was tried by Shang Yang, a wonderfully
efficient administrator, who helped to build the power of the
Gh'in state, but eventually Shang Yang had to pay for his
efficiency with his life. It had worked in Shang Yang's country,